G R E G O I N T R O
[Grego - my stage name - means "Greek" in Portuguese and is short for Gregorio or Gregory, as well as a misspelling of Gergő which is a nickname for Gergely, the Hungarian derivation of the originally Greek-Latin name Gregorius or"Γρηγόριος", meaning "watchful, alert".]
Photo by Miklós Teknős
Composer, pianist and photographer Grego was born Földvári Gergely on November 11, 1970, in communist Hungary. Grego is his officially registered stage name. He is the firstborn in the third generation of a family of shoah survivors. As a young child, he had a chance to spend a few, very influential years in São Paolo, Brazil.
Grego is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Boston, MA, with a magna cum laude degree in Composition, awarded to him by Pat Metheny, in 1996. His studies in the U.S. were made possible by substantial merit based scholarships from Berklee and the Eubie Blake Fund.
Grego's piano teachers - first and foremost Ms. Elisabeth Vadász (HU), Ferenc Rados (HU), Nachum Pereferkovich (IL), Ray Santisi and Edward Bedner (US) - had many notable students, including Sir András Schiff, Keith Jarrett, Joe Zawinul, Gary Burton, Diana Krall, Danilo Perez, Hiromi. His composition professor at Berklee was legendary John Bavicchi (US), a peer of Leonard Bernstein at Harvard.
Grego's performance and compositional styles are most noted by musical experts for their equally refined treatment of the classical and jazz genres, as well as an almost compositional level of improvisation.
B A C H B W V 9 7 1 / 2
COUNTRIES LIVED IN:
PEOPLE'S R.of HUNGARY
(WORK & STUDY):
Grego performing, photo by Serge Lafontaine
(Steinway & Sons piano, m/s Viking Sun, art by Edward Munch)
Grego has been (2015-2018) Resident Pianist with Viking Ocean Cruises, a World's Best Awarded luxury line where he has also been featured as soloist at Star Theater concerts and is currently preparing (2018-) for a solo concert tour, ensemble performances and exhibitions of his art photography, while working on the premier of new compositions, including choral and orchestral works about the two Koreas, one about a seminal speech by Winston Churchill biographer Sir Martin Gilbert and a contemporary opera inspired by a legal study on criminal law in the 21st century, also working on novel piano arrangements of chamber and operatic masterpieces and other obscure works by Händel, Haym and Mozart.
Berklee graduation '96 Grego (left), Pat Metheny (right)
Grego was six years old when he began piano studies under
Elisabeth Vadász in Budapest and started composing at the age of eleven. Affected by his father's guitar playing, singing and diverse musical interests, his attention soon turned towards jazz and other popular styles; while continuing a classical training and regular schooling, he began jazz studies at age twelve and founded Trupp, an award winning contemporary jazz ensemble that played many of his own pieces.
In 1987, the family left Hungary to settle in the Greek capital, Athens, where Grego became a student at the British overseas school, Byron College. After his graduation there in 1989, he enrolled in the jazz piano department of the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and studied social sciences and English literature at Hebrew University of Jerusalem. During this time, he performed regularely with jazz guitarists David Golek and Adi Salomon.
Blue Note in Jerusalem: Ramsey Lewis (left), Grego
In 1992, following a few months spent in Paris, he returned to Budapest and under the name Greg Földvári, soon released his first recorded album of all original songs and instrumental compositions titled "Touch Wood", featuring such leading Hungarian jazz musicians as Vilmos Jávori and Attila László, singers Andrea Szulák, Bea Tisza and István Torontáli, among others.
With the late Carl Anderson (left)
The same year, Universal Records offered Grego a multiple recording contract. However, he decided to leave Hungary again, this time to continue his music studies in composition, piano and conducting at Berklee College of Music, in Boston, MA (USA). Winning various scholarship, performance and composition awards (the prestigious Eubie Blake Scholarship Award, Berklee's BEST Scholarship Award, The Emanuel Zambelli Piano Competition Award - 1st Prize, Richard Levy Award for Composition), he graduated magna cum laude in 1996 with a degree in composition. The diploma was conferred to him by Grammy Award Winning composer and performer, Pat Metheny. As a young songwriter in the USA, Grego's work received high praise and offers of recording by legendary jazz singers Carl Anderson, Lou Rawls and Phil Perry.
Performing at Bartók Jubileum © Balassi Intézet
In 1997, he returned to Budapest in order to study piano with world-renowned music professor, Ferenc Rados. In 1999, Grego formed a piano trio with bassist Péter Papesch and drummer Gergő Borlai. After his six-month long composition sabbatical in Padua, Italy, the Trio performed a series of concerts at Kunsthalle, Budapest, played elsewhere in Hungary and toured other European countries. In 2002, the Gergely Földvári Trio released Grego's second entirely self-written album, the double live CD titled "Sun, Rise!" ("Süss fel Nap!").
Portrait of Grego on vacation, Summer 2016, by his daughter (9 y.o.)
While touring, performing, composing and recording, Grego began a research project in piano teaching at the Lauder Javne Music School that lasted 12 years, until 2015. Since then, Grego has been contracted to become Resident Pianist with the award winning, prestigious and culturally focused Viking Ocean Cruises (photos), whose growing fleet of ships have been winning various top awards in their category.
Grego performing on Viking Star (Photo by Greg Baran, USA)
Grego has written and recorded music for contemporary art installations and film scores, has been teaching music at the Hungarian Film Academy and also taking an active part in various civic initiatives, both in the United States and in Europe, such as the Steven Spielberg founded SHOAH Visual History Foundation or National Geographic Society's Private Journeys program. He is the Founder of Hajós Alfréd Society, named after the World's first Olympic Champion swimmer, later master architect.
Together with renowned and award winning director István Jávor, Grego has been working on a musical documentary film currently in production, work titled "The Mád Man". Please click here to watch a short preview of the film.
Scheduled to start in 2019, Grego will launch his YOGA+PIANO program in collaboration with professional trainers, offering classes that will regularly feature his piano performances.
photo by Hajnalka Valczer
For nearly twenty years, Grego has continued to pursue photography, an increasingly important and appreciated facet of his artistic expression. He is currently preparing and offering a touring show of his art photography, searching for galleries and exhibition venues that have a grand piano on site. A concert with the screening of photos is also possible. Venue renderings featuring Grego's photos (1,3,4,5) shown:
Grego in a solo concert:
Grego has been blessed to father children.
photo © Tamás Féner
(Please send mail to: